SWOT

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Strengths 

Self-awareness –

This is a skill I have always had, my ability to critically analyse myself and look for ways to improve myself in order complete goals, that are needed to be met. This makes me better at knowing what my strengths and weaknesses are, this means I can play to my assets as well as at the same time focus on perfecting areas I need practice in. This skill will be great in a teamwork environment, understanding how I can help with a project with my best foot forward as well as perhaps asking for assistance in areas that I may struggle or at the very least know its something I need to improve on, to get the best out of my assets. At the end of most days I reflect back and see what went well and could do with some improvement. I know my limits and I always want to learn from my experiences and look for feedback in order to improve.

Articulation –

I have always found it easy to articulate ideas to other people in a way they understand (for the most part) exactly what I’m talking about. This skill is vital in the workplace, making sure that co-workers, bosses and clients know what I am talking about. I have always spoke with a form of confidence in my ideas and this comes across in my voice and body language. When I put forward ideas in a teamwork environment people hear my ideas and respect them, which I feel is because of the way I present them to them.

Teamwork/Leadership –

I am a very social person and get on with most people I meet and can easily set up a working relationship that works well. From a very young age I have always enjoyed teamwork based activities and this is something that has stuck with me right up to present day. I played a lot of teamwork based sports as we’ll as took a number of drama and performance classes outside of school and college. I Think that teamwork to accomplish a common goal has been drilled into me at a young age. Not only in my hobbies have I learnt this skill but in my working life as well. I have always had a job from a very young age and majority of them involved teamwork in order to get the job done. I use to work as a Tree surgeon assistant and this job required good communication between members of the team for everyones safety, so I believe this really hard printed in my mind the importance of teamwork and communication at a young age. I have also Been through the hierarchy of the food catering career and have been in every position on the way up. I now run service as head chef leading the kitchen staff and know what it takes to give orders to get a job done. This has helped me develop a number of skills that is required in a leadership role.

Skills I have Learnt Being in a Leadership Position –

    • Positivity

    I persoanlly feel that happiness and positivity goes a long way in the working environment and not letting mistakes and issues take over you head, preventing you from doing your best by getting flustered when things go wrong. Keeping calm and a level in all situations takes real strength and is a good example for others leaders should always think about.

    • Motivating
  • In the position of leadership you need to inspire others to do their best and get the objective completed in the best manor possible. There are a number of ways to motivate staff and it varies from person to person, but it is important to encourage productivity and passion.
    • Communication
  • This is a vital skill require for leading a group of people to achieve a set of goals. You have to be clear with the way you explain everything to employees and ensure you articulate the objective well.
    • DelegatingIt is important not to take on too much yourself and know your own as well as others strengths and weaknesses. It is your job to ensure the right tasks are giving to the correct people. Some people fear giving tasks to others is a sign of weakness but intact it is a important factor into being a good leader.
    •  CreativityAs a leader you may have to make decisions that may not always been clear on what to do, so having a creative mind might be exactly what is needed in order to think outside the box and do the right thing.It is important to be committed to what your team is hoping to achieve, This might be putting in extra hours in order to get the jobs done. It is also great just to set an example to the rest of the team, because how do you expect your team to work hard and commit if as a leader you don’t even do it yourself.
    • Commitment
    • It is important to be committed to what your team is hoping to achieve, This might be putting in extra hours in order to get the jobs done. It is also great just to set an example to the rest of the team, because how do you expect your team to work hard and commit if as a leader you don’t even do it yourself.

These are just a few skills I have developed and improved upon after taking a leadership role, which I am very grateful for and will always keep in mind when experiencing a new work place as well in the working environment in general.

Creativity –

I have always had an interest in being creative, starting at a young age I have always enjoyed drawing and coming up with stories and this interest has transformed into a useful skill in my adulthood. I spend a lot of my spare time creating a number of things just simply as a hobby, This varies from artwork or logos to music. I enjoy the idea of thinking outside the box and trying to do something new or innovate. I am always open and aware of ways to overcome issues or how to improve current situations. I think the main way I have become (in my eyes) a creative person is my passion and interest in learning new skills and perhaps by acquiring these skills it may change my thought process on projects and tasks in ways I never thought about before.

Communication –

Like I have stated above I feel like communication is a strength of mine and I have always had an innate ability to communicate to others verbally very well.

Weaknesses 

Reading/Writing

From a young age I have been classed as someone with dyslexia and I have noticed a difficulty with reading and writing others may not have. I have always been slightly less efficient than most in reading and writing for as long as I can remember. I did say that communication is a strength of mine but this is only verbally and my ability to communicate through written means may be slightly hindered and is definitely something I need put extra effort into.

I hated the way how my ability to read and write in school slowed down all other aspects of my education, so I took it upon myself to improve it in any way I could. I took extra special English classes during class time and even in the my lunch breaks, to improve my  weakness as best I could, this however was not enough, so I got a private tutor to help me after school to give me the best chance possible to because better at reading and writing. I think this really show some of strengths in self awareness and really committing in order to improve a skill I was particularly good at.

After a long while practicing and improving I believe that I have got to a point where my dyslexia doesn’t hinder me as much anymore. I will always have to put more effort in reading and writing than other but I have come to terms with it and always keep in consideration when completing tasks.

Time Management –

I have always had a slight issue when it comes to my ability to manage time effectively. Sometimes I underestimate the time something will take and as a result of that I am late or hand in projects not as complete as I wanted to originally. This somewhat links into my dyslexia as well, because quite often I would underestimate the time it would take me to complete a theory assignment or a written piece of work and this delays the time I have on other aspects of the project. Over the years I have learnt how much extra time I need in order to complete the written side of a project and this is no longer as much of an issue as it use to be but it does come up now and then.

Design Process –

My knowledge of the design process is somewhat limited because I haven’t worked in the industry. I imagine that the process varies drastically anyway due to a number of factors but there is only so much you can research without reaching some kinda of wall that can only be surpassed by actually work experience. This weakened I of course plan on overcoming as soon as I get out there and start working.

Opportunity 

University –

University gives you number of opportunities you should really take advantage of. Universities don’t only offer information they also offer opportunities like getting involved with a company outside of the university. This can be a massive help for students perhaps getting the opportunity to get a summer job or a part time job that would expand the students knowledge in how companies work and operate.

University also offers equipment and software that would otherwise be impossible for a student acquire for themselves. Take advantage of this and use it as much as you can to build up your portfolio before going out into the real world with nothing much to show for it.

Lets not forget the main reason you go to university, which is to get an education that can get you a good job when you get out there in the real world.

Connections –

Having connections is always a great way to create opportunities within your life. I have a few connections within the media industry, as well as connections that the university links me to. Now a days the internet is great way to create great connections online, even across the globe. I have some family members that work in London and have already set me up with work experience within the media company, this can be a massive help in order to get my foot in the door of the industry.

I have members of friends and family that work in the advertising in London. I have already been given the opportunity to get work experience in a sound studio and a advertising company. This has given me the chance to experience the work place first hand, as well as make connections with people within the industry.

The university I am currently studying in has many opportunities to make new connections with bodies outside the university. There are a lot of presentations and workshops you can get involved with on a regular basis. This presents the chance to work with people who are from the working environment.

These days the internet is a great tool in order to create new connections and opportunities, with social media and other websites, such a LinkedIn. You can reach across the world and make new connections with people to communicate with and maybe even set up a new working relationship.

Threats    

Rivals –

When applying for a job or even after you have got the job there is always a chance that someone is gunning for your job or just out preforming you. This can be a threat to your position or even your job. There will always be a risk of someone who the company views as a better asset will get the position you have or want. To help combat this it would be the productive to make yourself as attractive as possible to employers, some examples of this could be ensuring you are always punctual, have some form of experience or education or even a large well thought out portfolio.

Progression of technology –

Technology in the world is advancing at an extremely rapid rate and this has a number of effects on the media industry. Software or Hardware you are using one day and is considered a professional standard can be deemed useless the next. This can be a major issue in the upcoming future for everyone in the industry, we never really know whats going to happen in the future but this is especially true when the industry is advancing at the rate the technology is now.

 

 

 

 

 

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Personal Business

One possible option when finishing my education would be to start my own business as a freelance. I could focus mainly on websites, apps and graphic design. When creating a business it is important to take into consideration how you want your business to be perceived by everyone. The first thing to consider is the visual design and identity.

Visual Design and Identity. 

Why is important to have a good visual identity? when visiting a website or using an app you can tell the mood of the brand or company simply by the front of the writing, the main colour scheme and even by the size of the text, this is important to keep in mind if you want to ensure the design of your brand is represented how you what it to.

The first thing to think about is the audience your looking for, in my case I would be looking for small companies and businesses, because of this I will need to make sure that I can come across professional. I am struggling to find an exact match on what my target may be more specifically, with things like age, gender ECT. Perhaps a good way to find out more would be to look at other similar companies on social media and see what kind of people interact with the company.

My first bought draft would be a clean look that has its primary colours as white and gold. Here is a very early draft of an idea.

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Business Plan 

Introduction/Summary 

My idea for the business would a new and upcoming website, app and graphical designer. I would specialise in creating interesting and unique websites and apps for all types of companies and businesses. My main plan of action is to create a website and share my business on as many social media platforms as possible via friends and connections.

J.C Designs will be a freelance website, app and graphic designing business that I will run by myself and will be based in Devon, but I of course can do projects from across the world thanks to the internet.

Services 

The main aim for me is to provide a easy solution for those who don’t have the means to create a website or app, as well as provide ideas for those who want assistance in creating graphics and designs for the aesthetics of their brand. I thought about the process of how I would interact with the client.

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Fees and royalties 

When it comes to expenses the main thing I would have to invest in would be software in order to create a webpage, however there are a lot of free softwares out there, which may be a good bet until I’ve further established myself within the field. If I was to pay for a software there a number that are ranging in price for a monthly subscription. Here are some examples of costs and softwares I could go for.

Squarespace at 9.40 a month

Shopify at 23 a month

1&1 at 6.99 a month

When it comes to equipment I already own a PC that is more than capable to design a website or app.

As a freelance web designer you are expected to make anywhere from 15 to 75 pounds a month, obviously starting out I would be on the lower end of this.

When starting out it is important to make sure you have a financial plan. This helps in really getting to grasp with understanding how you are going to make money and where is the area in which you can improve on the best. If I was to write a finical plan it would look something like this.

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Royalties 

When creating a business it is important to understand how royalties work. Royalties are when a person or company agree for another to use their intellectual property as long and they receive some kinda of benefit or income for there use. It is important that you understand this when using things you may find on the internet, because if not done correctly this could cause you some serious issues. There are some royalty free websites out there where you can acquire assets from within infringing on royalty.

Insurance

When working freelance it is a clever idea to make sure that you are insured. If something goes wrong it might be a good idea to get professional liability insurance policy, this basically protects you against claims against you if something you did may have been faulty. Another good idea is to cover yourself insuring work you take to a company doesn’t get stolen. Here are some more details about how the insurance works

How General Liability Insurance Protects Freelancers

In addition to professional liability insurance, freelancers should consider general liability insurance. A general liability policy covers property damage or bodily injury to someone else. If you meet with clients in your office, or if you go to a client’s office or job site, a general liability policy will protect you if a client slips and falls on your icy side walk, for example, or if someone trips and falls over your laptop bag while you’re at a client site.

Taken from  https://www.hiscox.com/blog/what-freelancers-need-know-about-liability-insurance

It may also be a good idea to insure your equipment to make sure that the only reason your making money is safe and secure, especially when it comes to expensive equipment such as computers.

Registering as self employed

When you become self employed you must register as self employed or you could find yourself in some serious trouble. Here is a step by step guide on how to register yourself.

  1. Check your work counts as self-employment using the Employment Status Indicator
  2. Create a Government Gateway account
  3. Await your details, which will arrive by post
  4. Complete your registration using your Government Gateway details, as well as information about your business, like trading name and contact details

Once registered you will have certain legal obligations.

Taken from: https://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/knowledge/articles/2016/11/how-to-set-up-as-self-employed-with-hmrc-uk/

If you are self employed you are legally required to tell the HMRC.

Your responsibilities once you’ve registered as self-employed

The most important of these is that you must keep adequate records, particularly of any sales or outgoings connected with your business. Then, by 31 January every year, you must file your Self Assessment tax return. Bear in mind that you will need to make payments to HMRC on 31 January and 31 July, although you may be able to stagger these payments with the prior agreement of HMRC. As well as income tax, you’ll have to pay both Class 2 and Class 4 National Insurance Contributions (NICs).

 

 

Future Contacts

University 

Plymouth Course 

BSc (Hons) Computing & Games Development

When looking at courses where I can carry on further education in interactive media and games plymouth provides a good bridge to do so. This course is much like the one i’m currently doing with South Devon.

It would involve designing apps and indie games to help build your profile as a designer. you will work with real clients on projects to help your software development skills.

Funding

In order to apply for this course I would have to get a loan from student finance. the course costs 9,250 for people from the EU, which I am.

Application 

All applications have to be made through UCAS for undergraduates and UCAS will ask for information, such as the course code.

Accommodation 

If I was to choose to go for this course, accommodation would already be in order, because I live locally and can simple get the train into plymouth. If this was not the case however I would apply for student accommodations on websites like http://thestudenthousingcompany.com, which help students find affordable accommodations near their chosen university.

Applying for trainee roles.

Instead if going on further with education I could choose to find myself placement in a company doing trainee work. When looking at Devon’s placements in these chosen fields it is somewhat limited and it may be better for options elsewhere in the country or even abroad. Saying that however universities such a Plymouth offer apprenticeships in order to help you get a job and a education.

Work Experience:

A couple of years ago I did some work experience in London, because of some contacts I had within the industry. I worked in a sound studio called Jungle Studios and even got offered a trainee position after finishing my education.

Creative internship websites

When it comes to looking at future options its a good idea to look at creative internships. There are a number of websites that have great success when it comes to creating internships that then go on to full time work. Here are some examples :

https://creativeaccess.org.uk

http://www.creativeinterns.com

https://www.internwise.co.uk

http://www.inspiringinterns.com

Graduate Job Websites. 

It may also be a good idea to look into graduate jobs after leaving university because its a great way to stem onto your chosen field, because graduate jobs require a degree in order to apply for the job. Here are some examples of sites :

https://jobs.theguardian.com/jobs/graduate/

https://www.prospects.ac.uk/graduate-jobs

https://www.milkround.com/jobs/graduate

https://www.grb.uk.com/graduate-jobs

https://www.indeed.co.uk/Graduate-jobs

Job Websites 

Another option would be to look for a job straight away, this may be perhaps the easiest way to find a job after education. Here are some examples of sites:

https://www.jobsite.co.uk

https://www.fish4.co.uk

https://uk.dice.com

https://www.jobcentreguide.co.uk/career-sites/13/job-search-engines

https://www.cv-library.co.uk

 

 

Professional Practice Critical Thinking

Day – 1 (3/10/17)

Critical thinking 

This is when you look in-depth into something and make a reasoned judgment that is well thought out and logical. You will look and analyse all arguments and draw your conclusion from that.

It is always important to work out the reliability of someones point of view on the chosen subject and insure you look at all angles. Its good to consider peoples emotional attachment to specific things and know this may cloud their judgement on it. I have had this issue when playing a new version of a old game I adored as a child and my opinion of the game may have got warped because of Nostalgic feelings I had because of the previous games.

Why is critical thinking important ?

Critically thinking about something helps you to improve your process of thinking. This enhances your cognitive skills, as well as insuring you keep a level head and being able to make logical decision even in stressful situations.

Key Questions

  • What
  • Who
  • Where
  • When
  • Why

 

 

Professional Bodies

I am going to be talking about the professional bodies that are valuable to think about to help you to look into funding and opportunities that are within your chosen field of work in the future. They can also help you determine what current trends are which would be partially useful for freelance work, when you have to work out what the best course of action for own buisness plan would be.

Here are some examples of professional bodies:

UKIE Ukie logo magenta

This is an interesting supporting official body for UK gaming companies. It is the only trade body for UK based game and interactive design industry. UKIE provides a number informational writings that can be ver useful for new and upcoming companies within the interactive media industry, this includes how to protect your products and intellectual properties. They also collect a lot of important information that provide people with an insight on how the UK market is doing in the gaming and interactive media industry.

Contact Information :

Website: https://ukie.org.uk

Number: +44 (0) 207 534 0580

Adress: Ukie | 21-27 Lamb’s Conduit Street | London | WC1N 3NL

TIGA

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The main purpose of this body is to support the gaming industry in the UK, they do this by helping game development and publishing. TIGA holds a number of events that sheds light on new and upcoming companies, such as new small indie companies. TIGA also supports the education of new young people to help bring the gap between college’s and universities to game developers themselves.

Website: http://tiga.org/

Number: +44 (0) 845 468 2330

Email: info@tiga.org

PEGI

PEGI_-_Logo

PEGI is a official body that helps consumers make informed decisions on purchasing games or apps. Every publisher has to use the PEGI system in order to sell their products. PEGI uses a badge system that has to be presented on games and apps in order to let the consumer know what to expect when buying, this includes age restrictions and warnings of violence or strong language e.c.t. When working in the gaming industry it is essential to work with PEGI in order to get sell your products.

 

Professional Practice Aspirations

27/11/17

Talking about what I aspire to do in my career aspect of my life is a difficult subject to talk about, due to the pure amount I have. I have a number of paths within the industry I would be more than happy to accomplish. This being said I do have a preferred job I would like to achieve, This is not particularly a negative thing, because it means I have a contingency plan that if I fail my main aspiration I have desirable options to fall back on.

  1.  Project Directer 

I have always worked well with teams and have a strong interest in leading a team to create a great final product. I have a number of years worth of experience in a leader role but not in this same area of work. This would obviously be a near end goal for getting into the media industry and will not be accomplished for quite some time but it is something that i am very interested in doing.

Below is a number routes I can take in order to reach my dream job.

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This diagram displays the different routes I can take in order to climb the ladder of my chosen career path. There are a few branching jobs that can lead into progression of one another. One of the examples of this is the path of Media Trainee, which leads on to becoming a Media associate. This later on down the line can progress into being a media mentor and then finally a Senior Media Associate. This particular path of progression is mainly in the lower levels of jobs within a media company and if I was to do a career plan for the next five years, progressing through these different jobs would take up the majority of the five years. I will now lay out the ideal situation for the next five years below.

Year One –

Giving that I have already landed a trainee position in my chosen media company, I may stay in this role to up to a year depending on my performance and dedication. Under perfect circumstances I could be promoted to a Media Associate in under six months.

In the role of media trainee I would mainly be doing lost of tasks set down to me by my manger. This can vary widely depending on our current job, the company and many other factors.

The role could include looking for optimisation within the company, working on social media campaigns for many different clients, websites in search engines, a lot of online marketing techniques, building and maintaining relations with bloggers as well ad online communities, research and find opportunities for clients and the company you work for, as well as create content and produce activity reports.

In order to ensure my employer doesn’t think I’m jumping the gun when asking “what do I have to do to in order to get promoted?” I’m going to make sure a few things are achieved.

  1. Master My Current Role 

This is important to ensure you are received well by your boss and leave no doubts in their minds that you deserve to be promoted. I must make sure that I am outstanding in all aspects of the job and are consistently better than all others in similar job roles.

2.  Leave them little doubt 

Ill have to ensure that I have evidence of my performance and that I am ready to process through the ranks. I need to do my best to already do some aspects of the new role currently and that my promotion will make things easier for the company and my boss achieve goals. Its always handy to have other coleges and senior staff will vouch for you.

3.   Pick the correct time

There could be a number of factors that may prevent you from progressing through the career path. Depending on your field, your role, or your employer, there may simply be no room for you to progress right now. However if you are sure that you can capitalise on the current situation and explain to your employer that it would be strategic not just for yourself, but for them and the company.

These things can be applied to every step up the career path and will be useful to keep in mind throughout all of careers. Sometimes its easy to get distracted about what you are truly aiming for when it comes to terms of progression, lost in the day to day struggles and not really focusing on your goals. Having these pointers in mind helps to keep a foundation below you to ensure that you are always looking to advance and improve.

Year Two –

Year two could parentally be a great year for advancing through the career path, if tackled in the correct manner stated above. In the ideal situation I could be a media associate or perhaps even a media mentor, however this wouldn’t be very likely, but it could happen.

Being a media associate and a media mentor are somewhat the same job but with different levels of authority within each project. There would also be different levels of responsibly for staff and the project in general. You would have to help develop the brief for the client, prepare rough design concepts, producing a number of visuals, writing code and testing the end product.

Year Three –

Year three I would like to have progressed to the role of media mentor but depending on the current state of the company this may simply not be a option. In an ideal world however I would have reached this role and would be comfortable with this role in most aspects.

Year Four and Five –

By this time I would like to have accumulated a lot of skills and experience in my field and to have become somewhat of a specialist in a chosen area of interactive media, reaching the role of senior media associate. To achieve this I would have to be professionally knowledgeable in graphic communication and a number of computer programs that interact with users. Sometimes this role can then progress out to becoming a freelance worker, that can work for multiple companies at the same time. The job would include creating new designs tools and developing graphical interfaces. You would also be testing for quality, maintaining existing applications and researching new technologies and methods.

 

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I Will Teach You To Be Rich. 2017. How to ask for a promotion – I Will Teach You To Be Rich. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/how-to-ask-for-a-promotion/. [Accessed 12 December 2017].

Inc.com. 2017. Your Guide to Asking for a Promotion | Inc.com. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.inc.com/jayson-demers/your-guide-to-asking-for-a-promotion.html. [Accessed 12 December 2017].

Hierarchy Structure. 2017. Social Media Job Positions | Hierarchystructure.com. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.hierarchystructure.com/social-media-job-hierarchy/. [Accessed 12 December 2017].